Michigan is a stunning state to visit, with countless destinations for an adventurous summer road trip. The Great Lake State has a lot to offer from its scenic lakeshores, beach towns, waterfalls and hikes – perfect for outdoor lovers. Here’s six places you need to check out in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan:
Pictured Rocks is a stunning lakeshore extending 40 miles on Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula. It doesn’t seem to receive the merit it deserves. I had never even heard of it until I spent a summer in Michigan. Along the shore, you’ll see incredible rock formations, stunning waterfalls, rolling sand dunes and eye-catching archways. Pictured Rocks has a lot to offer for adventure enthusiasts. There’s numerous areas to hike and kayak with endless jaw-dropping views. I recommend taking a boat ride at sunset while you’re there.
Tahquamenon Falls is another unique spot in the U.P. It’s also known as Root Beer Falls because of the soda-colored water of the Upper and Lower Falls. Surrounded by forests, the paths to the waterfalls make a serene walk with the sound of rushing water getting louder with every step. There’s beautiful hiking trails encompassing the Tahquamenon Falls State Park, stunning in every season.
Mackinac Island is located in Lake Huron and covers less than four miles. It’s hard not to fall in love with this charming island. No cars are allowed, making it an ideal place for a city break. The streets are filled with bikers, horse drawn carriages and locals and tourists taking strolls. It’s easy to get lost in the coastal views around every corner. Biking the island is a perfect way to spend a sunny day, and don’t forget to stop for ice cream and fudge! Another must is taking a ferry under the Mackinac Bridge, a suspension bridge connecting the Lower and Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Traverse City is a Midwestern gem you must put on your list. The Grand Traverse Bay is a few steps away from the downtown strip. You can enjoy wine tastings and bike trails with a water, farm or forest view. Parasailing, paddle boarding and kayaking are also popular attractions. Despite its growing popularity, the beauty of the delightful city has been kept with the lack of high-rise hotels along the beach. Traverse City has numerous opportunities to enjoy its beauty and the great outdoors. (I even wrote a post on why I fell in love with this city).
Sleeping Bear Dunes is a national lakeshore less than 30 miles outside of Traverse City. There are 35 miles of massive dunes giving spectacular views of the clear and expansive Lake Michigan. The sight is especially stunning at sunset with the mesmerizing colors mirrored in the water. Sleeping Bear Dunes was even named the “Most Beautiful Place in America” by ABC’s Good Morning America in 2011, and rightfully so.
Petoskey is a cute town Ernest Hemingway lived and vacationed in. His novella The Torrents of Spring was set in this resort community. A handful of his other works were set in other beautiful parts of Northern Michigan. See what sparked Hemingway’s creativity! Take a walk to the waterfront park. Watch boats sailing by. It’s a fun city to wander the streets lined with unique shops and tasty cafés. During my couple of days there, I stayed in a cozy cabin at the KOA Campground, which only seemed to make an even more perfect spot to crack open a Hemingway novel.
Be sure to put these beautiful places in Pure Michigan on your list. These areas could encompass a summer road trip – the perfect way to enjoy a Michigan summer.
What’s your favorite destinations in the Great Lake State? What’s on your bucket list to visit?